World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Schaffen Air Base

Article Id: WHEBN0035474269
Reproduction Date:

Title: Schaffen Air Base  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Belgium in World War II
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Schaffen Air Base

Schaffen Air Base
Advanced Landing Ground B-65
Coordinates
Type Military Airfield
Site history
In use 1914-Present
Battles/wars World War II
Airfield information
ICAO: EBDT
Summary
Coordinates
Map
EBDT is located in Belgium
EBDT
EBDT
Location of Schaffen Air Base
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
04/22 2,000 607 Grass

Schaffen Air Base is a Belgian Air Force Base, located 2.1 km north-northeast of Diest in Flemish Brabant, Belgium.

The airfield is currently the Training Center for Parachutists (TrgC Para) of the Belgian ParaCommandos.

History

Origins

Schaffen Air Base was originally established about 1914 by the invading Imperial German Army during World War I. The Imperial German Air Service (Die Fliegertruppen) used it as an airfield before withdrawing in November 1918 after the Armistice with Germany.

Battle of Belgium

Between the wars, the airfield was a major base for the Belgian Air Force. In early 1940, about half of the Belgian Air Force, were stationed there prior to the Battle of Belgium in May. On the early morning of 10 May, the alarm was sounded, and the pilots at Schaffen Air Base went to their planes, thinking it was an exercise. A few minutes later, 50 unidentified aircraft flew over the airfield. At 04:20am Belgian Hawker Hurricanes at the airfield started their engines. 12 minutes later, three Luftwaffe Heinkel He-111s were spotted, not troubled by AAA fire. The 111s strafed the airfield several times. The Belgian planes tried to take off through the explosions and fires. Minutes later Me-110s and Dornier Do-17s strafed and bombed the airfield. Four Hurricanes were set on fire, and 6 others were damaged. The roof of the hangar fell in and the planes in it were destroyed. By 5:30 AM, only five aircraft remained operational, two Hawker Hurricanes and three Glosters. After the attack, the survivors were flown off and the airfield abandoned.

Luftwaffe use

During the German occupation of Belgium, Sturzkampfgeschwader 1 (StG 1) formed at Schaffen as Erg.Staffel/St.G.1. It operated Ju-87 Stuka dive bombers from the field, attacking British shipping in the English Channel. The Stukas, however, suffered significant losses against RAF fighters over the channel and were withdrawn in August to bases in the Balkans. For the remainder of the occupation, Schaffen was a non-combat airfield of the Flughafen-Bereichs-Kommando 22/XI (Airport-area command 22/XI).

Royal Air Force use

The British Army moved through the Diest area, clearing the occupying German forces north into The Netherlands. Royal Engineers moved into the airfield and it was re-designated as Advanced Landing Ground B-64. It is unknown which RAF units used the field until the German Capitulation in May 1945.

Postwar use

After the war Schaffen became the location of the EVS (Elementary Flying School, or in Dutch: Elementaire Vliegschool). In 1950 the EVS left for Air Base Goetsenhoven however. Schaffen Air Base has also been the home of the Training Center for Parachutists (TrgC Para) of the Belgian ParaCommandos since 1946.

References

  • Sturzkampfgeschwader 1
  • Airport-area command 22/XI
  • Schaffen
  • Johnson, David C. (1988), U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO), D-Day to V-E Day; Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

External links

  • Photo of damaged Hurricane after 10 May 1940 Luftwaffe raid
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.